Anethum is one of the many useful carminative herbs that soothe intestinal spasm and promote good digestion.
It helps to dispel wind, and it's gentle action makes it one of the first choices for colic in babies and stomach upsets in general.
The key uses for Dill are:
Anethum combines well with Matricaria, Althea and Glycyrrhiza, to name a few. Traditionally, it has been used on its own as dill water, or water containing essential oil of dill. As a home remedy, a tea made by steeping the seeds in hot water will work just as well.
The name dill is said to derive from a Saxon word dilla meaning to lull. Dill water is an old and still famous remedy, made from a distillation of the seeds, to soothe colic, flatulence, and abdominal pain in small babies. The volatile oil in the seed has a antispasmodic action, relieving spasm in muscles in the digestive tract, and it also enhances digestion. Dill can be used for indigestion, wind, and colic in adults as well as in babies and children. It will also relieve nausea, hiccoughs, constipation me an upset stomach. When chewed, the seeds will reduce bad breath.
Dill also had tranquilising properties and has a reputation for inducing sleep in babies and children - another reason for every mother to be well acquainted with dill water. It also increase milk supply in great feeding mothers. In menstruating women it relieves painful periods, and brings on delayed or suppressed periods. Dill can be used externally in warming liniments to increase circulation in the limbs, and to soothe muscular tension and joint pain.
The leaf, known as dill weed, is used for cooking. Its gentle piquancy makes it a useful companion to milder tasting foods such as fish, often as an ingredient in a soup or sauce. It can also be added to salads and salad dressings, and is one of the spices used in pickling.
Anethurm is a hardy annual and easy to grow. To get top-quality seeds, wait until they are fully ripe before collecting them, and then dry them carefully away from artificial heat or strong sunlight, to preserve the essential oils in them.